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How to manage digital projects with Storyblok

Tarek El Deeb
Try Storyblok

Storyblok is the first headless CMS that works for developers & marketers alike.

The starting point of any project can sometimes be a little bit daunting. So many deliverables, clients to please, content to create, and the list goes on, not counting that you want to create kickass projects because that's what you’re all about. If you’re new to Storyblok as well, then there’s an added layer of getting familiar with the new software.

Here at Storyblok, we’ve learned a lot from using our own product, interviewing our users and partners, and quite a few of us at Storyblok have our own little pet projects on Storyblok. We’ve also learned a lot from our partner case studies about how different types of digital projects with different goals can be successfully achieved using Storyblok and other complimenting technologies. We want to share with you everything we’ve learned, how to streamline your process in conjunction with Storyblok, and to make your projects go from daunting to dapper.

Section titled What are you trying to achieve? What are you trying to achieve?

One of the most vital and important steps for any project is the initial planning stage. Success doesn’t happen by accident and needs to be carefully and meticulously thought out and planned for. Essentially you and your team need to ask yourself the ‘big-picture’ questions about the project and build a wireframe:

  • What is the client's end goal with this project?
  • What is the purpose of this project?
  • What are your KPIs?
  • How are you measuring success on this project?
Image of a project plan being created and different ideas being added in.

You need to have a very clear idea of what you’re building and what the end product is going to be before you get started. Too many projects fail because of unclear objectives, and the easiest way to avoid this pitfall is to plan out your project carefully. This stage also gives you and your team an opportunity to discuss the Storyblok features and how you can utilize them to streamline your project.

Section titled Building your team Building your team

There’s a very important question you need to ask before you can start building the team for the project.

What are the skills needed to get the job done? Once you’ve answered this question, you can begin identifying the people you’ll need to bring aboard. Diversifying your team between junior, intermediate, and senior people can reap dividends because valuable mentorships are built in situations like this. You can always also team up with external partners if you have gaps in the skill sets needed to complete the project.

Once you’ve built your team, you can take advantage of Storyblok’s free team members feature and add your team to your free Storyblok spaces in the Partner Portal and build your custom roles and standard workflow on Storyblok.

Section titled Kickstart your project Kickstart your project

Start off by gathering your entire team and project stakeholders, make introductions, and once everyone is familiar, you can start to set some processes in motion, such as:

  • How will you communicate as a team?
  • How will the work be divided?
  • What’s the work schedule?

This is also a great opportunity to take questions from the team, any concerns or issues, and making quick resolutions. The kick-off meeting is also a perfect time to talk with your team about expectations and deadlines, in order to build as much clarity as possible. Building some project momentum through a kick-off meeting gets everyone pumped and ready, but how do you maintain this momentum throughout a long project?

Image of project planning and setting milestones

The best way to keep the momentum going is to decide how the team is going to work. Take an overarching look at your project, and start breaking it down into smaller projects.

  • Break the project down into small milestones, preferably in a way that the smaller projects can be individually released, for example the homepage, product catalogue, listings, etc.
  • Commit these milestones to short sprints (approx. 2 weeks), and plan daily stand-ups and weekly demos.
  • Track your tasks and completion with Storyblok’s custom workflows, pipeline, and scheduling & releases.

During any project, every team member shares a stake in the success of that project. That success can be nurtured by getting to know your team well, encouraging open discussions, ideas and suggestions. Meet with your team regularly to discuss hurdles, challenges, solutions, and updates. This gives your team some ownership over the project and the milestones they need to complete, and no individual team member will be overwhelmed.

Section titled Staying organized Staying organized

It’s absolutely crucial to always be organized during a project, especially with a bigger project with more team members. Look into utilizing some project management software and tracking tools to streamline conversations, decisions, changes, updates, issues, milestones, tasks and budgets. There are many tools out there that can do this for you, so make sure you pick one that you and everyone in your team can get familiar with.

There are three certainties in life. Death, taxes, and something going wrong during a project. There are some steps you can take to minimize the chances of things going wrong, such as making use of apps on Storyblok like Task Manager, Activities, Approval, Content Locking, to start. However, you will still run into obstacles that you need to overcome, and it's important to be fluid so you can make rapid changes and minimize the chaos.

  • Start by identifying the problem, the root, cause, and how to adjust and refocus your team.
  • Adjust your schedules, budgets, and tracking.
  • Ensure that all your stakeholders are on board with the adjustments and changes.
  • Keep a changelog handy for any team member to find and update it accordingly.

Learning to roll with the punches and adapt quickly to rapid changes will teach you and your team the ability to weather any disaster.

Section titled Communicate and celebrate Communicate and celebrate

Build a communication plan that you and your team are comfortable with, and set the cadence for updates. Regular communication between your team will keep your team connected to avoid mistakes and wasted effort. What we recommend is:

  • Daily: Stand-ups, blockers, progress, questions/comments.
  • Weekly: Budget tracking, progress, decisions and impacts.
  • Monthly: Demos, formal test reports.
Image of a team celebrating reaching a milestone together

A big part of constant communication is ample opportunities for demos at the end of a milestone. You can use this chance to visualize your end goal, test what's working and what isn’t. Teams can present what they’ve been working so hard on for internal review and feedback, as well providing a way to engage with your stakeholders to discuss progress, revisit objectives, and to make sure that your team's work aligns with the project's KPIs.

There’s also a big psychological aspect to demos and celebrations. Allowing your teams to display what they've been working so hard on will provide some much needed catharsis as well as pride in their work, and spur your team on for further progress.

Section titled Build your success Build your success

Following these steps will certainly help your project creation and implementation, as well as give you team clarity on their roles, milestones, and end-goal. Work together to utilize the steps in this guide and watch your productivity and revenues rise.